Published on Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ryanair 'to offer totally free flights in five to 10 years'

Chief executive Michael O'Leary says he is looking at plans to offer zero fares within a decade to boost passenger numbers to 200 million.

Instead of making money from seat sales, the airline could share the proceeds of the airport shops, he said.

He told the Airport Operators Association conference he wanted to abolish fares in five to 10 years so Ryanair would fill its planes.

He admitted that his proposed retail revenue sharing formula wouldn't work at large airports like Heathrow, but he said the airline was already talking to smaller airports that were lowering their airline fees to boost traffic.

He said: "I have this vision that in the next five to 10 years that the air fares on Ryanair will be free, in which case the flights will be full and we will be making our money out of sharing the airport revenues.

"I'm doing seat sales this week at £4 and I'm paying the £13 APD; I'm paying you to fly with me. Instead of promotional tickets being £9 or £5, they will be free."

Ryanair has already said fares will fall by 10% to 15% this year. It already makes at least 25% of its income from the sale of add-ons, such as insurance and car hire.

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